Safety, outdoor lighting, cable, fiber initiatives reviewed in CPOA business meeting

Bill Neches, president of the Chautauqua Property Owners Association, leads the CPOA annual business meeting in the Hall of Philosophy Saturday.  (Ruby Wallau | Staff Photographer)

Bill Neches, president of the Chautauqua Property Owners Association, leads the CPOA annual business meeting in the Hall of Philosophy Saturday. (Ruby Wallau | Staff Photographer)

The Chautauqua Property Owners Association wrapped up the season with its annual business meeting Saturday morning in the Hall of Philosophy.

CPOA President Bill Neches began the meeting by reviewing the activities of the CPOA over the last year and the projects that the CPOA works on during the off-season.

After approving last year’s business meeting minutes and the treasurer’s report, Phil Carl presented the nominations for CPOA officers and area representatives. Debra Dinnocenzo was nominated for a second term as secretary, and Charles “Chip” Gamble was nominated for a second term as treasurer.

Area representatives nominated included Karen Conover for Area One, John Dilley for Area Five, Fred Rice for Area Seven, Chris Anderson for Area Nine and Darlene King Johnston for member-at-large.

Neches announced that the CPOA board unanimously nominated Jim Klingensmith as the Class B Property Owner Trustee of Chautauqua Institution. Klingensmith was subsequently elected to the board in a vote later Saturday morning during the Chautauqua Corporation annual meeting.

Helen Habenicht gave a presentation regarding the CPOA website and described the resources it makes easily available.

Outdoor Lighting Committee Chairman John Dilley reported that two lights have been ordered for North Lake Drive and should arrive in September. A fourth light has been ordered for the Pier Building as well. Funding for these lights was made possible by a donor and by the Institution.

“Funding for lights in the future will be a combination of donations, Institution facility money and Chautauqua Utility District tax money,” Dilley said.

Plans for new lighting along South Lake Drive up to the Sports Club are also in place, he said.

Eighty-five percent of the street lights in Chautauqua are owned by National Grid, Dilley said. Ongoing negotiations with National Grid have been in process to allow the Chautauqua Utility District to take over all street lighting on the grounds.

“This has been a very long and drawn-out process,” Neches said.

However, Neches said, the proposal has made it through National Grid’s legal department and has been sent to the chairman of the board for approval. Neches is hopeful that progress will be made in the fall.

Chairman of the Transportation and Safety Committee Jim Lampl then took the podium — wearing his bicycle helmet. Lampl encouraged adults to wear their bicycle helmets and set good examples for their children.

This year, the Transportation and Safety Committee partnered with Jamestown Bike Shop to present bike rodeos for children during three Sundays in July. Lampl said the bike rodeos were very successful, bring in 77 children in addition to a few adults.

The committee has also been working with Institution administration to add stop signs and speed bumps around the grounds, especially on Hedding or Massey. Lampl closed by saying “Chautauquans who use their heads wear helmets.”

Neches then reminded property owners that as the season ends to take care of their internet and cable through Time Warner Cable. Chautauquans receive a special cable rate that customer service employees at Time Warner should be aware of.

In the same vein, former CPOA president Hugh Butler outlined a possible fiberoptic network initiative, which he said could be a wise investment.

“Everyone who we have talked to, engineering-wise and market-wise, believes that fiberoptic cables are a 30-year technology and will continue to be used 30 years from now,” he said.

Along with the CPOA and Chautauqua Utility District, Butler has been actively working with vendors and engineers to see if a fiberoptic network is a possibility for the future.

Laura Damon of the North Lake Informed Citizens reported that the county executive expects to have legislature pass the proposed 3 percent reduction in taxes in both 2016 and 2017 as well as the proposed sales tax increase from 7½ percent to 8 percent. This will allow for a balanced budget for those two years.

She also said that for the fourth year in a row the Chautauqua Lake School District has complied with the provisions of the New York state tax cap guidelines in preparing the 2015-2016 school budget and for the second year in a row the tax cap number is about two percent. She said that a small decrease in tax rates is anticipated in each of the six townships within the school district.